Maybe Sheryl Crow was right, as a change did do David Perron some good tonight. The Blues' winger notched his first two points of the season as his goal an assist helped St. Louis get their first win of the season at Scottrade Center, 3-1 over the Minnesota Wild.
The evening did not start well for the Wild, who were hoping to build on a Wednesday night shootout win over Colorado. Unfortunately for Minnesota, tonight's game looked too much like the second period against Colorado, and too little like the first. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to believe that St. Louis was the team having problems starting games as Jay McClement took a rebound of a David Perron shot and buried it past Niklas Backstrom to put the Blues up 1-0 just 56 seconds into the game. In fact, the Blues absolutely dominated the beginning of the game, keeping the Wild without a shot on goal until the 7:49 mark and outshooting the Wild 15-4 in the first frame.
That domination continued into the second as Perron took the puck on a 2 on 1 break shorthanded and snapped it home for his first of the season. After that goal, the Wild, now down 2-0, picked up the pace and poured it on, outshooting the Blues 17-11, including Chuck Kobasew's first goal as a member of the Wild.
Unfortunately, it was as close as Minnesota would get. The Blues locked down the game in the third period, keeping the Wild to a 4-3 SOG advantage in the third before Brad Boyes scored the empty-netter to seal it for St. Louis.
To add injury to insult, Kim Johnsson left the game after a nasty hit by David Backes, and did not return to action. Johnsson suffered an upper-body injury, but no further word has come out as of the writing of this article.
This injury to Johnsson is a major blow, especially since the defense is playing such inconsistent hockey. Brent Burns again found himself adding to his NHL worst +/-, going -2 for a season total of -12. It's never a good sign when your "best" defenseman is a -12. Burns is simply trying to do too much, not playing within himself, and it shows. He's killing his team, and is definitely not helping his chances on making the Canadian Olympic team.
Please read the game recap over at St. Louis Game Time
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- David Perron (1 G, 1 A)
- Chris Mason (20 saves)
- Jay McClement (1 G)
Questions to Answer
- Can the Wild look better than they did in the two preseason games with the Blues? Defensively they were a bit better, but they're so, so inconsistent.
- Will the Wild play like they did in the first period against Colorado or the second? Definitely like the second period.
- Will we see a better Martin Havlat tonight? No. He's just absent on the ice. If you didn't know he was on the team, you would have no clue. He's a non-factor.
- Can Brent Burns continue to improve on a poor start to the season? Nope. -12 is horrid.
- Do the Wild show better chemistry tonight, with another game under the belt for the linemates? I wouldn't say they were markedly better, but they weren't worse. Still missing too many passes.